June 23 – 29, 2023Vol. 25, No. 2

A Long Journey

by Martha F. Barkley

From the twelve original greenhouses…twenty-one-greenhouse range it now is. The hard work and dedication of the Longfellows, and of their willing and capable employees, and of course the many happy customers…as they enjoy a visit to Longfellow’s in Manchester, on the road with the funny name — Puddleduck Road!

How good to finally have this 2020 book, A Long Journey by Mavis J. Longfellow, in my hands, borrowed from a friend at Old South Church. How often do you pass the flowery display at Longfellow’s Greenhouse in Manchester? We do and we admire its beauty every time.

Mavis Longfellow published this collection of her writings when she was in her 90s and busy emailing family and friends. Now that is quite an accomplishment in my estimation. She wrote letters and essays and poems her entire life and shares richly “some things learned along the road” of her abundant life in Maine.

A letter on widowhood is addressed to Barbara, my friend at Old South. It is a helpful, two-page letter of wisdom. Read it for yourself because Longfellow knows her stuff from experience.

What a gem of a gift, a good book. How often do you buy a book for a gift or give a favorite read to a friend? I always threaten my friends with books and a book report to be solicited later. Barbara “got me back” with this wonder of a long life starting on “A Small Farm, a Small School, and a Small Town.”

“Wedding Bells” brings us to the “Longfellow” part of the author’s very blessed life.

I jump chapters to “Sweet Springtime”:

Springtime in Maine is especially welcome after a long cold winter…Being in the greenhouse business, preparing young flowers and vegetable seedlings…Crows complain of real or imagined injustices…Canada geese are honking their V-flights…Spring peepers in their nearby mud-bottomed ponds…How sweet it is to be here in the country, in Maine, when it is waking from the bonds of winter.

Enjoy this read and I hope Barbara, my friend, likes this book report of a loan that took weeks and weeks of waiting. Now that is another story.

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